How they are going to afford their medicines is an important consideration for many of the people we spoke to. Many medicines in Australia are subsidised by the government via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), of which everyone was aware. Everyone with an Australian Medicare Card is entitled to pay the PBS subsidised price; concession card holders receive further benefits. War veterans are covered by the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS), which provides pharmaceutical and other benefits.
Many people also reach the PBS Safety Net threshold every year, which means general patients pay for further PBS prescriptions at the concessional rate and concession card holders are not charged for the rest of the calendar year. They are acutely aware that the PBS Safety Net makes it easier for them to take their medicines. However, medicines can be difficult to afford in certain circumstances. For example, medicines that are not covered by the PBS can be a significant cost for people who need to take them.
Furthermore, the expense of taking multiple medicines does add up and is compounded by other necessary health-related expenses, such as numerous GP, specialist and allied health appointments.